One of the first words Nina started to speak was ‘more’, to indicate that she wanted more food, or she liked the game, or to identify anything that she liked.
One month later, she started to say ‘还要啊’ when hearing many time from me to ask for more food.
Since we arrived in France almost three weeks ago, she quickly learnt that most people here would react favourably to her demand when she said ‘encore’.
Now she tries her luck often in all three versions of asking for more, so to increase her chance of success. Of course if she got what she wanted at the first try, this little person would just stop trying and got on with what she just got, which very often would be a mandarin!
This is the second word that she knows in all three languages (English, Mandarin, French). The first one was ‘ta (as in thanks)’, ‘merci’, and ‘谢谢’,although I suspect she already forgot ‘ta’ as I haven’t heard it for a while.
But with this said, you never know, because the duration of memory of a child is actually quite amazing as I learnt the other day. I was pointing to an Ostrich when saying 鸵鸟 to her. Just as I thought she perhaps didn’t register anything as it’s quite a difficult word to pronounce, she said ‘走啊走，走啊走’. I was amazed because indeed there was an ostrich in a Chinese book back at home in Sydney when it demonstrated how different animals walk with the rhyme of the text ‘走啊走，走啊走 that went with it. The last tine when we read the book was at least three weeks ago already, and we didn’t even read that book very often. Yet she remembered the text when seeing an ostrich.
If ever we were able to find a way to get into a child’s brain and see what happens there, it must be really amazing.